'Institutional Lack of Candor': Obama Administration Violated Constitutional Privacy Protections For Years

Matt Vespa
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Posted: May 25, 2017 4:30 PM
'Institutional Lack of Candor': Obama Administration Violated Constitutional Privacy Protections For Years

Well, as we discuss intelligence leaks, the workings of the Deep State, and unmasking, let’s circle back to the Obama administration, which violated Americans’ privacy through the National Security Agency for years. The lack of following protocol was so bad that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court (FISA) scolded them for having an “institutional lack of candor.” Circa, who first covered the story, had more [emphasis mine]

The National Security Agency under former President Barack Obama routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall, according to once top-secret documents that chronicle some of the most serious constitutional abuses to date by the U.S. intelligence community.

More than 5 percent, or one out of every 20 searches seeking upstream Internet data on Americans inside the NSA’s so-called Section 702 database violated the safeguards Obama and his intelligence chiefs vowed to follow in 2011, according to one classified internal report reviewed by Circa.

The Obama administration self-disclosed the problems at a closed-door hearing Oct. 26 before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that set off alarm. Trump was elected less than two weeks later.

The normally supportive court censured administration officials, saying the failure to disclose the extent of the violations earlier amounted to aninstitutional lack of candor” and that the improper searches constituted a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue,” according to a recently unsealed court document dated April 26, 2017.

The admitted violations undercut one of the primary defenses that the intelligence community and Obama officials have used in recent weeks to justify their snooping into incidental NSA intercepts about Americans.

[…]

The NSA said it doesn't have the ability to stop collecting ‘about’ information on Americans, “without losing some other important data. ” It, however, said it would stop the practice to “reduce the chance that it would acquire communication of U.S. persons or others who are not in direct contact with a foreign intelligence target.”

The NSA said it also plans to “delete the vast majority of its upstream internet data to further protect the privacy of U.S. person communications.”

Speaking on Fox News last night, John Solomon, who co-wrote this piece with Sara Carter, said, “tonight for the first time, we can say confidently that there’s been a finding that some of that espionage, that spying on Americans, actually violated the law,” he said. Circa has reported in March, that the loosening of NSA regulations by the Obama administration, supposedly to better prevent lone wolf attacks, could subject Americans to political espionage. The Media Research Center’s Newsbusters division also noted that no networks have reported on these constitutional breaches last night.